Facts about Chile
Chile is located on the western coast of South America. It is approximately 2,700 miles long and 150 miles wide. If you placed the northern tip of the country in Buffalo, NY, the southern tip would still extend to San Francisco, CA.
Over one-third of the nation's 17 million people live in Santiago, the capital. This clean, beautiful city is one of the most modern in all of South America with a very efficient subway system that transports over 1 million people each day.
The offical language is Spanish. However, there are several indigenous languages still spoken in parts of the country.
Over eighty-five percent of the population is Roman Catholic. The traditions, rituals and influence of the world's largest church are felt everywhere. Catholisim has been intermingled with the ancient beliefs of the Mapuches and other indigenous people. This "marriage" is seen in many of the festivals and holidays, not only of Chile, but in all of South America.
If you allow yourself to hear that still, small voice of God, you can also hear the cry of a people that are hungry for something to fill the emptiness in that place in the heart reserved only for God.
I would love to take you with me to the center of Santiago. We would stand in the busy streets and watch as literally thousands of souls walk past us every hour of the day and well into the night. I would like for you to see, as I have, the hunger, emptiness and, most of all, the hopelessness of people for whom Jesus died. Then perhaps, you could feel the tremendous need that exists in this beautiful country. Many times, as I am traveling, I look toward the mountains and wonder about the people living in the small villages scattered in hidden valleys and wonder how we can reach such isolated places.
The UPCI in Chile
At the present time, there are around fifty churches and four preaching points. Most of these churches are in Santiago.
Our Bible school, located in Santiago is associated with Global Association of Theological Studies (GATS). This association puts our school on par with many other institutes globally, allowing the diplomas and certifications to be accepted at GATS institutions in other countries. We are now training young men and women on a weekly basis in preparation to open more churches. With trained workers, we will be able to open new works in unchurched cities.
Since our arrival in Chile, our primary objective has been to intensify the training of workers. One of our target cities is Antofogasta. Located in the north, this city of over 300,000 people, has no United Pentecostal Church. We recently made a contact there and hope to visit soon. With God's help, will be soon seen a thriving work there, to the glory of God.
As you can see, the need is bigger than we are. I was discussing the magnitude of the task some time ago, with Brother Elardo Poblete, an elder pastor in Chile. Brother Poblete replied with tears and frustration, "Pastor, no tenemos obreros." (We don't have workers.) The laborers truly are few. God has called us and we are here. Will you help? You can help by praying for us and the work. If you have not already done so, you can help by partnering with us on a monthy basis.